Disclaimer: This story is purely a product of my imagination; in other words, fiction. It may not be reproduced in any form or be posted in any site without the writer's permission. This story might contain stuffs that are adult in nature and illegal to some of you. If this offends you, please discontinue reading.
Fixing a Broken Heart 3
Feelings set aside, Max was extremely gorgeous. I could admit that much. But unfortunately, I'm the kind of guy who wears his emotions on his sleeves. I couldn't help the sudden anger that gripped me the moment my eyes laid on even just his form sitting on the couch in my living room. He reminded me so much of what I don't have and sadly, can't. Seeing him all too suddenly brought back the events of that fateful Friday afternoon. We're gay... We're boyfriends. I haven't seen him... and Arvin since that day for five days now. What the hell is he doing here?
It was Wednesday night, just a little after dinner and I was getting ready to go visit Father Jim again. I had been visiting him after dinner since Sunday. It had been good to me, you know. There was just something about him that comforts me. There was this peaceful aura about him that makes me believe nothing could harm me when I am with him. I felt protected from anything.
And I couldn't explain it. It was that inability to explain those feelings in me that kept me coming back to him. There was the way he talked like he sees through me; I know it should make me feel uncomfortable but I am alright with it. He reminds me of Brian. The way he acts around me... it was like Brian's big brother act.
Brian... he was sitting on the couch chatting with Max. I went over to them and I knew my face was probably contorted into those ugly angry masks. Brian looked up at me but the smile on his face disappeared seeing my expression. He has those 'what's wrong' look. I know I must have war written on my face. "Zack, he says he has something to talk about with you."
"Yeah," Max said quietly. I looked at him knowing my eyes convey just how mad at him I was at the moment. The audacity. He actually went to see me to throw to my face just how happy he was to be with my best friend. I watched as a lump formed then went down his throat. Pretty scared, I see. "I need to talk to you, Zack." I saw his mouth moving, but there was little sound coming from it. "I need to talk to you," he repeated, a little louder this time.
"What about?" I asked, trying to sound disinterested but far from it. Deep down, I wanted to know how Arvin is. He hadn't come or called and I was too stubborn to swallow my pride and go to his house. Besides, I was afraid if I go there at a wrong time, I would catch him and Max together. I would probably chicken out if that were the case. I would probably leave and come back another time when I could catch him alone.
I watched as Max squirmed looking from me to my brother then back to me again. Brian seemed to sense that Max wanted to talk to me alone and was about to stand up. I hurriedly sat next to him and leaned on his chest preventing him from moving. I was now at eye level with Max and I was struck again by how beautiful he was. I had never actually personally seen a guy with a bronze skin before but I think that that was what Max's skin was. His hair wasn't long, but it wasn't short either. It has those curls at the ends. Some of them dangle in front of his eyes which were like the blackest ones that I've ever seen. His nose wasn't flat or too pointed. It was... perfect. And his lips... they were so red you would think he used lipsticks. I guess it was a good thing I had that war mask on. Only I knew better. And what better emotion could cloud someone's judgment than anger.
"I thought you wanted to talk?" I knew I was harsh. But I wasn't exactly unreasonable. Hell, he stole my best friend. Did he know how much that feels like? Did he expect me to come greeting him with a smile and a pat on the back? He was lucky he doesn't have any bruise on that beautiful face of his yet. Wait until he says the wrong word; I'll be on him before he even knows what happened.
"Um... can we talk somewhere?" he asked. He was looking down at his lap, those curls hanging down from his head and hiding his face.
"I'm going somewhere, Max," I explained in a much different tone than what I've been using. It just doesn't feel right for me to talk about Father Jim in an angry tone. "I have to meet someone."
Max looked up at me. The scare was gone from his face and a smile replaced those quivering red lips of his. His black eyes were sparkling like diamonds. "You have a date? Arvin would so love to hear that!" Have I said anything about saying the wrong word? My eyes narrowed at him and my face resumed that angry look I've had from the moment I saw him this evening. He looked confused, probably wondering what he's done to make me angry again.
Oblivious to us, Brian started laughing. "A date?!" he laughed again. "He is not on a date! He is meeting with this priest every night at St. James!" More laughter. I was still glaring at Max, daring him to say more. He was back to looking down at his lap, leaving only those curls for me to glare at.
"Can we talk... somewhere... please?" he pleaded, looking at me in the eyes.
I sighed. "Fine. I need to make a phone call." I called Father Jim at his apartment and told him I couldn't make it tonight. Something came up, I said, looking at those black curls that I hate so much right now. I promised to be there tomorrow night. "Alright, where do you want to talk?" I asked with as much sneer as I could muster.
"Um... how about the playground?" I shrugged my shoulders. We walked quietly side by side in the direction of the playground which is probably deserted at this hour. I realized that after all those times I spent hating this guy I was walking with, I couldn't do anything of what I've been thinking of doing to him. I couldn't give him a black eye. I couldn't slug him on the stomach. I couldn't kick his balls. I realized I couldn't act out on my anger.
Because there was none at all. I realized there was nothing but sadness that I felt, and the anger I thought I felt towards Max was nothing but make-believe. I was angrier with myself more than Max because I didn't act on my feelings sooner, and I directed that anger towards him because I was too blinded by the grief of losing my one and only love to him. I thought I hated him. In the end, it all came coming back to me.
But like water on a duck's back, I shrugged the realization off as if it never occurred to me. My stubbornness said I would hate Max as long as he was my best friend's boyfriend. I was hard pressed on making him miserable the entire time because I knew he would never complain to Arvin about it. I just knew he wouldn't and I intend to make full use of it. I knew it was childish but it's the only way I know how I could deal with my own feelings.
I sat on a swing and stared at Max standing in front of me. I knew anger was visible in my eyes, but it dropped down a notch seeing him staring back sadly... too sadly. He averted his gaze to the ground as if he got burned and started pacing in front of me. I just stared at him and followed him with my eyes; I was going to wait for him to speak first. He stopped pacing and sat on the swing next to me looking me in the eyes. He ran his hands through his hair and said in a surprisingly contemptuous tone, "You know, you could hate me all you want, but Arvin is your best friend. He feels miserable not being accepted by his only best friend who couldn't even stay in the same room with him." His last words dripped with almost the same hate I thought I felt towards him.
"What?" I asked, irritated to hell that this guy had suddenly turned me into the antagonist.
"You heard me," he said hotly. His attitude was almost different from the one that I had encountered a while ago. It was almost like he was challenging me. I glared at him and was about to make a retort when he jumped out of the swing and grabbed my shirt with so much speed I didn't have time to react. "I could stand all those pickings you do to me, asshole. But I wouldn't just stand if you even as much as look at Arvin with that look of disdain you always give to me."
I shoved him off of me and stood. "Do that again," I threatened, my teeth clenched. I couldn't believe this guy. I couldn't believe he could make me this... mad. It was like he was trying to get me even more enraged than I was at the moment. I felt like I was on fire. I wanted to tear him into pieces. I wanted to hurt him. I grabbed his shirt and pulled him towards me, getting into his face. "Do that again," I said glaring into his eyes. At the moment, I wanted to crush him, and I could see that he wanted to do the same to me. Whatever. I wasn't going to be the first to back down in this glaring match and I wouldn't let him to be the last one to throw a punch.
"I'm sorry," he said, breaking the eye war. "I didn't come here to fight."
I pushed him off of me. "And you think I did?"
"You always looked like you want a fight everytime you see me."
"Oh, yeah? Is this all about you and your brilliant assessment of my attitude? Do you think I even care what you think about me? You even got the audacity to tell me about my shitty attitude when you stole my best friend from me. How do you think I feel when my best friend would rather spend his time with you than with me?" He stood silently while tears uncontrollably poured out of my eyes. Why the tears? I was furious. Why was I crying? I wiped the tears off angrily but they continued to streak down my cheeks. "What do you want me to do? Treat you like a king? Congratulate you? Hell, I just wanted my best friend back. I don't care if he's gay!"
"He needs to know that. I..." His tone was almost mellow compared to the way I was talking to him. But he stopped talking. I guess he never expected me to react like this. Those words I told him, I meant them. The only thing I could be after everything was to be mad.
"You what? You're so busy fucking each other I couldn't even catch him alone these days!" Damn it! Why don't these tears stop? "Everytime I try to talk to him, you're always around. You couldn't even think about leaving us alone for a while. I've been waiting for him the past few days, you know. He hadn't come or called. But I figured you were keeping him busy to even think about me," I finished bitterly but actually feeling a little better to myself having all those things out in the open. The tears had finally stopped and I found myself in a lighter mood than earlier. I sat back down on the swing and waited for Max to break the silence. I have spoken out all ill feelings I have towards him. The rage was gone; I felt like I could deal with him levelheaded now.
"Whew! Man, am I so glad that's all out now. I always wondered what I did to make you so mad at me all the time. I mean, you weren't exactly an asshole to everyone but just me. What did I do to get the special treatment?" he said, sounding relieved. I looked at him and he actually had a smile on his face. For some reason, I found myself smiling back, and before I could stop myself, I laughed and he soon joined me. We laughed like crazy until our stomachs hurt and we couldn't handle it anymore. We just looked at each other crazily and in danger of falling back to laughter. "What just happened?" he asked, a wide grin plastered on his face seemingly irreplaceable. I'm sure I looked the same.
"I don't know, do you?" He shook his head no. The mysteries of life, the mysteries of being a human... what just happened? One moment I was bitterly furious at Max and then the next thing I know we were laughing together. At that moment, I could admit to myself that all anger I have been building up was gone. It was like there was a spirit living in me but then it left and it let me feel how it left my body. Am I even making sense?
"Anyway, to clarify some things, Zack, I swear, I've been persuading him to talk to you again these past few days, but he doesn't want to."
"Why?" I asked, looking down sadly. The grin was replaceable, after all. It was totally wiped from my face remembering why we were both here at the moment. Arvin.
"Do you have any idea how mad you looked when we both came out to you? I was used to you being mad at me all the time but you still scared me that time. I think he's scared of what you'll say to him."
"Are you trying to pick a fight again?" I joked, but it seemed like my face could only generate a weak smile. "I looked scary that time, huh?" He nodded. "Hey, you were supposed to disagree!" We giggled a bit. Now, I understand why Arvin looked so horrified that day. Maybe right now he is wishing he could take back those words. I was the terrible friend after all. I looked at Max and he seemed to know what I was thinking. I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Well, thanks for looking out for him."
"He has been waiting for you to call or go to his house too, you know," he said reassuringly. I just nodded at him. "You want to know something, Zack?"
"I fell for you first," he said sheepishly. I'm sure he could tell I was blushing though he couldn't actually see it. "I was so in love you but you never gave me the time of the day. I have a habit of falling for the straight guys, I guess... hehe."
I laughed again. "I had no idea!"
"Well, now you do." I guess I was so involved with my feelings for Arvin I didn't notice the others around me. But if Max thinks I'm straight, then I wasn't that obvious. "You never talked to me but Arvin took pity of me, I guess. And we just... fell for each other. And we're not yet fucking each other for your information, Zack!"
"You didn't have to tell me that," I whined.
"I know!" He giggled. He walked up to me and offered his hand. "Friends?"
I took his hand and shook it. "Friends."
He pulled me up to my feet and said, "So I guess, we should get going now, huh?" I nodded at him. We started walking out of the playground but he suddenly stopped. "Can I hug you?" He giggled, then added, "I promise, no groping and stuffs," he said holding up his right hand.
Who wouldn't want to hug this hot guy? I drew him in and hugged him tight. His body felt so warm and soft and his scent traveled into my nostrils exciting me to the tips of my hair. I suddenly felt his hand on my back slid down and squeeze my right butt. I was beginning to get hard and I felt afraid that he would feel it so I broke the hug and smirked at him. "No groping and stuffs, huh?" I asked sarcastically and we both laughed at each other. We walked to the corner of the street where we would part with his arm around my shoulders. "Thanks... for opening my eyes. Can I be the one to get a hug this time?" He said nothing but he threw his arms around me. "I just wanted to say sorry for all those times I've been an asshole to you."
"Apology accepted, and I promise I won't hog Arvin's time anymore." We smiled at each other and I felt the irresistible urge to kiss those red lips so I broke the hug again before I do something I regret. "Later, Zack."
"Later." We parted ways, me in the direction of my house and him in the direction of his. Now I know why Arvin fell for him. There's just this irresistible charm about him if you actually take the time to get to know him. I remembered Max's words. He has been waiting for you. I sped up my steps. I have made a decision. I would go to Arvin's tonight. I just needed to get something from my house.
I ran to the kitchen and got a chunk of graham cake from the fridge. Arvin loved grahams as much as I do. I wrapped the cake with a foil wrapper and ran out of the house, but my brother stopped me at the door. He gave me a questioning look and said, "Leaving again?"
"Yeah, I'll be quick... I'm going to Arvin's." He raised an eyebrow but said nothing. I really wished I could tell him what happened last Friday but that would mean outing Arvin and Max to him. I'll see. I mean, I'm on my way to Arvin's house. If everything goes well, I could tell him that Brian knows about me and then ask if it's okay to tell him what happened last Friday. I hugged my brother tight, kind of like a lucky charm, and went out the door. "I'll be back... in a while," I called out as I shut the gate close.
I drew in a deep breath. This is it. Seven houses down the street. I couldn't believe we lived this close but managed to avoid each other for five days. I rang the bell and Arvin's father was the one who opened the gate for me. "Zacky Boy!"
"Tito!" I whined. I don't like that nickname he uses for me. I'm fifteen, for goodness' sake! I don't even know how he concocted that... that gibberish. To him, I was Zacky Boy and Arvin was Vinny Boy. Oh well, I guess Zacky Boy is better than that nickname he uses for Arvin.
"Long time no see, hey! You boys been fighting again, huh?"
"I came here to apologize, Tito."
"Good. You boys are really growing up!" he exclaimed, then he looked at the foil-wrapped grahams in my hand. "Bribery!"
"Well, let me just have a bite and I'll let you go," he said, laughing. He led me to the kitchen where he got a spoon. I unwrapped the graham cake and he got a spoonful. "Maybe next time I'll be the one to fight with you."
"You could always ask my mom for some."
"Yeah, I know. Well, go on up to Arvin's room now."
"Ok." I trudged up the stairs to my best friend's room. Each step was heavier than the former and my heart just wouldn't let me relax as it pumped hard and wild in my chest. I was at a loss when I found myself standing in front of the door to Arvin's room. I didn't know what to say to him. I didn't know what to do. I'm... I'm scared. What if he doesn't want to hear me out? What if he tells me to get lost? Looking down at the foil-wrapped graham cake in my hand, I took another deep breath to gather some courage in the air... if there is one.
I put a hand on the door knob, turned it slowly, and gently pushed the door open. I was greeted by the sight of my best friend's perpetually dark room, the only light coming from the computer's monitor. My breath got caught in my throat seeing him again. He was in front of his computer, surfing the internet from the looks of it. I closed the door to get his attention since he didn't even notice the light that flooded from the hall. He slammed his hand down his desk yelling, "GODDAMIT, JEN! I SAID I WASN'T GOING TO EAT!" I painfully inhaled in shock at Arvin's outburst. He cut his eyes at me and I involuntarily stepped back, flinching at his fury-filled gaze. His eyes widened and gradually lost its fire as they fill with somberness. They started to water. The tears fell one by one but he held his gaze. I wanted to wipe those tears away but I was held in place.
Eye to eye. Face to face, finally.
Author's note: Tito is "uncle" in Filipino. I know I could have just written "uncle" instead of "tito," but for some reason, it doesn't feel right to me.
I promised a longer chapter and a confrontation with Arvin for chapter three to someone, but when I got to the part, "Face to face, finally," I COULDN'T RESIST IT. Cliffhanger! LOL. So sorry, Nathan. I know this chapter had taken a LONG time to be posted and for that, I'm sorry once again. I don't promise to post something sooner though. Kinda busy, these days. And wow... I just noticed that the last lines of this chapter rhymes.
Tell me what you think of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Change of address, dear readers. Nathan, you can send mails wherever you wish (no hate mails, dude! LOL).
Check out my other on-going serial at Nifty: Chronicles of a Kingdom (sf-fantasy 04/17/2007).